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The Jewish Chronicle - JC Magazine - - Appetite For Life -

UR TELE­VI­SION screens are dom­i­nated by celebrity chefs,soit’s no­sur­prise that their fancy equip­ment is mak­ing its way into up­mar­ket kitchens. In some cases, it even comes with a real live chef to show pur­chasers how to use their new pro­fes­sional kit, for which they have forked out a four- or five-fig­ure sum.

Blast chillers, sous-vide ma­chines and mir­a­cle mix­ers (which sauté, stir and cook as well as merely chop and blend) have all been adapted for the home kitchen, where they are now as de­sir­able as red sports cars and other boys’ toys for the home cook.

Mind you, it would be pos­si­ble to buy sev­eral sports cars for the cost of Grand Cui­sine from Elec­trolux. Not a name pre­vi­ously as­so­ci­ated with the top end of kitchenap­pli­ances, it has put that right by work

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SUM­MER 2013 with top chefs like Tom Aikens and Alain Du­casse to come up with a set of pro ap­pli­ances ca­pa­ble of any gas­trotech­nics you’re likely to see on Masterchef. They in­clude the oblig­a­tory blast chiller, for in­stant cool­ing or freez­ing and a vac­uum ma­chine in which to seal food be­fore cook­ing in a com­bi­na­tion oven on low heat.

Do we re­ally need th­ese items? Well, a blast chiller will set a dessert in min­utes, while vac­uum-seal­ing meat and cook­ing it for many hours at pre­cise, re­ally low tem­per­a­tures with all the juices held in pro­duces unimag­in­ably de­li­cious re­sults - and is a boon to ob­ser­vant cooks over Shab­bat.

Grand Cui­sine of­fers a gas hob, sear­ing hob, in­duc­tion zones, a stand mixer and a bespoke ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem. For £78,000 you would be en­ti­tled to ex­pect the multi-Miche­lin­starred Du­casse him­self to come and demon­strate — but in­stead, pur­chasers will have to be con­tent with a chef with­out a fa­mous name.

By con­trast, a sim­i­lar set-up from KitchenAid looks like a bar­gain at only £12,512. Chef Touch con­sists of a steam oven, vac­uum-sealer and a blast chiller, which can ei­ther be built in in sep­a­rate lo­ca­tions or in­stalled as one free-stand­ing unit. Bought sep­a­rately, the steam oven costs £1,675, the vac­uum ma­chine £2,590 and the chiller/freezer £4,450. It is worth not­ing that vac­uum-seal­ing meat, fish or poul­try in an oxy­gen-free en­vi­ron­ment ex­tends its fridge life by three times be­fore you cook it.

Still long­ing for a top chef to visit your home? You’ll get one to your­self for two hours if you in­quire about pur­chas­ing a Ther­momix — Alan Murchi­son of L’Or­tolan is among the many top chefs who are im­pressed with it; he has four of in his restau­rant kitchen. We watched in won­der as our own demon­stra­tor made us, in rapid suc­ces­sion, Parme­san bread­crumbs, bread dough (there is a chal­lah recipe), a chopped salad, sweet potato and ginger soup and a blueberry sor­bet. The joy of this bit of kit is ac­tu­ally cook­ing in the ma­chine, which will make soup and risotto from scratch, keep it hot for 45 min­utes and even­tu­ally wash it­self up (if you fill it with wa­ter and a squirt of washin­gup liq­uid).

At half the price, the Vita Mix uses fric­tion, rather than a heat­ing el­e­ment, to cook soup from scratch,

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